Now this, simply put, is a horrible idea. [# More #]
While I appreciate Chairman Duncan for thinking outside the box, we'd be better off paying more attention to what the Democrats have built over the last eight years and working off of a new model. This new political paradigm all comes down to campaign finance reform. What John McCain thought (hoped?) would be a shot in the arm to our campaigns turned out to be a shot in the foot to the Republican Party. Karl Rove and the Bush team were simply convinced that Republicans would rake in the dough when we doubled the individual contribution limits...but what they didn't realize was the incredible amount of soft money that would pour in to finance liberal political capital. Unions, foundations, and wealthy individuals all ponied up vast amounts of their resources to build an outside organization - a Shadow Party, as David Horowitz calls it. Couple that with a national candidate’s (without the last name Bush) unexpected hard dollar fundraising prowess and, well, here we are.
The good news is there are about twice as many conservative think tanks as liberal ones, yet the Republican National Committee - a party organization with the sole goal to elect Republicans to office, is potentially wasting scarce, overly-regulated, hard dollars on ten staffers to write talking points and develop a new website. They don't need a think tank to develop new ideas, we already have a party platform for that.
My suggestion: we as conservatives don't need another Think Tank, what we need is an Action Tank that can partner the issue and idea-based resources available through Heritage, AEI, Hudson, etc, with the right legislators and advocacy groups to make these big thoughts actually happen. It's something I always wish we had when I was in leadership, and something we can easily do now, through a 501(c)3 that can take unlimited, tax deductible donations.
Call the RNC and tell them they'd be better off using their hard money for races, party building, and communicating our conservative platform.